Piracy vs. Privacy

Piracy vs. Privacy

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In our advancing digital information age, there is an arising problem with preventing piracy at the same time protecting consumer privacy. It is very easy to make copies of copyrighted content and get away with it. At the same time advances in software technologies monitoring web surfer’s activities has pose issues with consumers as to securing personal information and ensuring privacy. Software technologies to provide privacy protection has not been advancing rapidly instead stronger regulations mandate privacy protection. It’s all based on policies or legal agreements.
     “I don’t think vendors are going to build in privacy protections if there is no incentive for profit,” said Avi Rubin, principal researcher at AT&T labs. Right now protecting consumer privacy depends on polices and rules-based authorization engine, rather then companies providing the technologies. The industry standard for protecting consumer privacy today is the Platform for Privacy Preferences Project. This project allows consumers to gain more control over personal information on sites they visit. The P3P allows web users to decide whether and under what circumstances to disclose personal information.
Intel is working on the next generation of processors that will include a feature that can identify the computer you’re using when you visit web sites. The reason for this feature is to protect e-commerce transactions. When this feature is activated, the computer’s identifier can be matched against the sensitive information the user inputs, validating the exchange. This will feature will also make pirating software more difficult. Many people are concerned about the privacy implications of the feature and want assurance that the feature could not be used identify users who visit sites without making a purchase and without agreeing to give out that information.
Blizzard’s Entertainment is being sued for unfair business practice. This company has online game called StarCraft, which is big a strategy game with many users going online to play. The suit claims that while a game player is online, the software transmits the gamer's name and e-mail address without their permission or knowledge. The reason Battle.net, Blizzard’s Internet gaming site, transmit data from the gamer player’s computer is to help identify which user are using illegal software.

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     I believe this problem of piracy that goes on night and day will always be a problem. Piracy has become a popular, and at times, ignorant crime. Many people commit software piracy and don't even know it. We need to protect privacy but also at the same time track down people who pirate.







Bibliography
“On Piracy and Privacy” by S. Srinivasan, page 36 of IEEE Computer, July 2003
“Chip to combat piracy raises privacy concerns” by Patrick Marshall, The Seattle Times
“StarCraft lawsuit: Privacy and piracy” by Elizabeth Knefel, CNN.com
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